From curiosity to applications. A personal perspective on inorganic photochemistry
Over the past several decades, the photochemistry and photophysics of transition metal compounds has blossomed from a relatively niche topic to a major research theme. Applications arising from the elucidation of the fundamental principles defining this field now range from probing the rates and mechanisms of small molecules with metalloproteins to light activated molecular machines. Offered here is a personal perspective of metal complex photochemistry drawn from this author's long involvement with this field. Several examples are described. Topics include characterizing key excited states and tuning these to modify chemical reactivity and/or photoluminescence properties, as well as using photoreactions as an entry to reactive intermediates relevant to homogeneous catalysts. This is followed by discussions of applying these concepts to developing precursors and precursor–antenna conjugates for the photochemical delivery of small molecule bioregulators to physiological targets.